Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Melting pot muddles.

Shula 01 May 01 - 03:05 AM
Patrish(inactive) 01 May 01 - 03:36 AM
Wolfgang 01 May 01 - 05:55 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 01 May 01 - 06:39 AM
katlaughing 01 May 01 - 10:49 AM
Bill D 01 May 01 - 11:28 AM
mousethief 01 May 01 - 11:33 AM
MMario 01 May 01 - 11:58 AM
Ferrara 01 May 01 - 12:03 PM
Wavestar 02 May 01 - 08:58 AM
Wavestar 03 May 01 - 08:55 AM
artbrooks 03 May 01 - 10:56 AM
Mark Clark 03 May 01 - 11:18 AM
Jenny the T 03 May 01 - 12:31 PM
MMario 03 May 01 - 12:57 PM
Jenny the T 03 May 01 - 05:40 PM
Kim C 03 May 01 - 05:48 PM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 04 May 01 - 01:43 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Melting pot muddles.
From: Shula
Date: 01 May 01 - 03:05 AM

Dear Folks,

As fate would have it, I wandered by my favourite old haunt, only to find a ripening fuss developing on the subject of Jewish humour. Being, as 't were, an "interested party," I may have a few thoughts to share on the matter later on. Meantime, in the interests of "Shalom bayis" (Peace in the home), I'd just as soon share a pertinent "snapshot" from our family album. (I was put in mind of this story by the joke in the "Non-Irritating..." thread about the Chinese waiter.)

As background, for those who don't remember me, my husband, Akiba, and I, are observant Jews. We are the parents of six grown children, five boys and one girl, three "his," one "mine," and two, by adoption, "ours." Our son, Joel, who is half native American (Blackfoot and Cherokee) came to us at age one, and, therefore, had little to do in the way of "cultural adjustment." (We have always encouraged his interest in his heritage, but that is a different matter.)

Our only daughter, however, came to us from Vietnam, at, give or take a year, 12 years old. She hadn't just gone from one playpen to another, she had immigrated to another planet. Learning English, for Laura, was complicated by simultaneous exposure to Hebrew and a little Yiddish. (I was put in mind of this story by the joke in the "Non-Irritating" thread about the Chinese waiter.)

Laura had been here about a year, as I recall, and she had earned a service badge in Girl Scouts, so we celebrated by taking her out to dinner at "Chapps," the only Kosher Chinese restaurant in Baltimore. We were waiting for a table, when she observed some other diners enjoying bowls of won-ton soup. She pointed to them surreptitiously, and whispered, "That for eat."

When we were seated and giving our orders, I asked the waitress to bring her won-ton soup. Laura frowned and shook her head vigorously and I tried to explain that that was what she had said she wanted. I pantomimed picking up a wonton with my chopsticks, and eating it, saying "Won-ton, yes?"

Absolutely *not*! She was adamant, so I took another tack. We eat a lot of Italian dishes at our house; I thought she might remember the word "ravioli," so I tried that: "Do you want ravioli?" I asked.

Again, frowns and violent head-shaking. She was becoming more and more agitated as I tried my best to help her understand that we were really going to get her what she wanted.

Watching us at the next table were an elderly couple. The wife, a lady bent to about 4'10" by osteoporosis, got up and tottered over to us, smiling. She leaned close to my nearly tearful daughter and said, "Nu, Zeiskeit, du vantz *kreplach*?" ("So, Sweetheart, you want kreplach?)Laura's expression did a full one-eighty and she bobbed her head emphatically, grinning from ear to ear.

Despite having encountered the dish at home only once or twice, it seems our Vietnamese-born, Italian-food-loving, Chinese-restaurant-going, all-American Girl Scout of a daughter, had spent enough Shabbos sleepovers with her Jewish girlfriends, that she had acquired a taste for the Jewish version of the humble little meat pastry one cooks in soup: kreplach! She just couldn't quite remember the word, until she heard it again.

She did, however, remember how to respond after eating one's first bite of this delicacy. When her soup came, she lifted an enormous wonton with her chopsticks and popped the entire thing into her tiny mouth. Cheeks bulging, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath of satisfaction. When she could speak, but before all the Chinese-style "kreplach" was down her throat, with a drop of soup rolling down her chin, she lifted both tiny hands, palms up to heaven and proclaimed, "Oy! A mechiah!" (A "mechiah," for the Jewishly unenlightened, is a supreme, visceral pleasure.)

By now, the entire restaurant was watching and her unintentional performance brought down the house. The elderly lady gave me an arch look and said -- (I think I have this right, my own Yiddish is merely rudimentary) -- "Ein gutten Yidisshe maidele essen *KREPLACH*!" (A nice Jewish girl eats *KREPLACH*!) How she looked past the beautiful Asian features to divine an exposure to Yiddish, I will never know.

Our daughter, now 22, give or take a year, now knows as much Yiddish -- and more Hebrew, -- than I do, and still loves little meat pastries, in any language.

Shalom,

Shula


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 01 May 01 - 03:36 AM

Lovely
Patrish


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: Wolfgang
Date: 01 May 01 - 05:55 AM

Shula,

It's such a pleasure to read a post by you after nearly two years. You've been missed here.

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 01 May 01 - 06:39 AM

When we lived in North London our neighbours were an Israeli man (not terribly observant Jew) married to a Catholc girl of Chinese origin. Their two sons' Chinese grandfather had limited English. I used to tell them that if they grew up speaking English, Hebrew and Mandarin they'd make a fortune as UN translators. The parents were very hospitable (he was a trained chef)and threw three New Year bashes!
RtS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 May 01 - 10:49 AM

Wonderful story, Shula. Nice to see you here.

Thanks,

kat


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: Bill D
Date: 01 May 01 - 11:28 AM

SHULA!....how wonderful to see you! There have been occasional posts enquiring about you, but we were almost too worried to say much. How about an update on a separate thread?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: mousethief
Date: 01 May 01 - 11:33 AM

Shula, I'm not sure I remember you, but from these good people's reactions you're obviously worth knowing! I hope to hear more from you in the near future, especially if this lovely story is any indication of your usual postings!

Alex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: MMario
Date: 01 May 01 - 11:58 AM

Alex - search on her name and you will find multitudinous good things...

what an absolutly wonderful story!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: Ferrara
Date: 01 May 01 - 12:03 PM

Oh, Shula, your beautiful story about your daughter and the wontons didn't just bring tears to my eyes, it left me crying. It said so much about brotherhood -- the kind that sees the person beneath the skin, the kind that elderly lady, and your entire family, seem to have knitted into their very souls. Gosh.

Shula, shula, it's so good to hear from you. Bill let out a yell and called me in to see that you had posted. Hurray!

If it's not an imposition, I too would like an update about how you're doing in a separate thread. You're often in my mind.

Rita Ferrara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: Wavestar
Date: 02 May 01 - 08:58 AM

That's a really neat story. Thanks for telling it. And welcome back :)

-J


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: Wavestar
Date: 03 May 01 - 08:55 AM

I'm refreshing this because I think we'd all do well if more people read it :)

-J


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: artbrooks
Date: 03 May 01 - 10:56 AM

My wife's grandmother came to the US from what is now Baylorus as a child, and she remembers her as speaking "broken English, broken Russian and broken Yiddish". Masha was a tailor and founding mother of the ILGWU, but that's another story. My wife's Greataunt Sorel taught Yiddish for many years in an attempt to keep the language alive and well in the New York/Long Island area. Melting pots usually contain many interesting ingredients.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: Mark Clark
Date: 03 May 01 - 11:18 AM

Shula, That's one of the most wonderful stories I've ever heard, and I've heard a lot of stories. Thank you for posting it here.

      - Mark


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: Jenny the T
Date: 03 May 01 - 12:31 PM

It was a very nice story. But now I'm hankering for a kreplach myself, even though I've never had it before. Hmm... I wonder if Shapiro's deli would have it?

Would anyone have a recipe?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: MMario
Date: 03 May 01 - 12:57 PM

click

or here

or three versions

more fillings

veggie version


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: Jenny the T
Date: 03 May 01 - 05:40 PM

Hey, thanks, MMario! I expect I'll make a batch of kreplach this weekend, then.

-JtT


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: Kim C
Date: 03 May 01 - 05:48 PM

I came up a Baptist and I don't think I have ever had kreplach.... I believe I would like it though! I have had that sweet pastry thing that starts with an r that I don't know how to spell. Rugelach? Dunno.

My supervisor is Jewish and back in December I asked her if she made potato latkes for Hannukah. Sure, she said, why don't you and Paul come for supper? So we did. I had my first-ever potato latke at the age of 33. We had a great time. :-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Melting pot muddles.
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 04 May 01 - 01:43 PM

Well it is almost Sytende Mai (Norwegian Independence I believe). I went to one of their parades once and mixed in with the people in Norwegian garb were Laotian immigrants in their national garb with all the silver jewelry etc. that they are known for.....I recognized a couple of students from the high school I worked at and asked how they came to march in a Norwegian parade. They said the Norwegians through their Lutheran church had provided a lot of support and sponsorship for them. What was really cute was the Lao babies the Norwegians had adopted marching in their Norwegian clothing.

And then there was the famous Seattle councilman, Sam Smith, African-American, dancing on St. Patrick's Day with the little redheads.

mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 7 June 4:31 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.